RT, Sputnik and Russia’s New Theory of War

RT, Sputnik and Russia’s New Theory of War

How the Kremlin built one of the most powerful information weapons of the 21st century — and why it may be impossible to stop.

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According to a January 2017 American intelligence report, Russian hackers launched an extensive disinformation campaign during the 2016 US presidential election that included the propagation of fake news stories on the Internet, all aimed at discrediting Hillary Clinton and undermining public faith in the US electoral process. One US intelligence official called the attack “the political equivalent of 9/11” – and Americans are only beginning to grasp the magnitude of Russia’s actions. In an in-depth article for The New York Times Magazine, journalist Jim Rutenberg narrows in on one central driver of Russia’s influence campaign: the English-language television network RT. getAbstract recommends this riveting account to anyone following this unfolding story of modern media manipulation. 


As American intelligence officials begin to uncover the extent of Russia’s information attack on the 2016 US presidential election, the Kremlin-controlled cable network RT and its US branch, RT America, are coming under increased scrutiny. According to one analysis, almost one-fifth of the “fake-news-spreading accounts” active during the campaign link back to RT and Russian news agency Sputnik. In September 2017, the US Justice Department asked an RT supplier to register as a “foreign agent” – an action that RT calls “McCarthy-era hysteria”.

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About the Author

Jim Rutenberg is The New York Times’s media columnist and writer at large for The New York Times magazine. 

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